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Slovenia makes progress again in the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI)

The latest DESI report, DESI 2022, shows that Slovenia has made progress again and is now ranked 11th, which is its highest ranking ever.

Infographic of the Digital Economy and Society Index 2022 for EU countries, with Slovenia highlighted

Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) 2022 | Author DESI 2022, European Commission

"The latest DESI data – the Digital Economy and Society Index 2022 – also reveal that the work of Slovenian experts in this field has produced results in recent years. In the overall ranking of the index, which measures the digital progress of the Member States, Slovenia moved up two places and now ranks 11th among the 27 EU members. We remain above the European average in the field of connectivity, where we have also contributed to excellent results through broadband network building, and in the area of integration of digital technologies, especially cloud services and artificial intelligence. The share of users of eGovernment services, which reached 77% of all internet users last year, is also encouraging and places us more than 10% above the EU average. We have also been excellent in the open data field for many years," said Emilija Stojmenova Duh, Minister for Digital Transformation.

In the index, Slovenia ranks above the European average and, just like last year, ranks ahead of France, Lithuania, Portugal, Latvia, Italy, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria and Romania. This year, we have also surpassed Germany and Belgium in digital progress.

The report is mainly based on data from the first quarter of 2021, as the date for data summarised from Eurostat is 1 April 2021. A more detailed description of the methodology is available on the European Commission’s website.

In the area of human capital, Slovenia ranks 17th among EU Member States. Compared to last year, Slovenia’s share of ICT specialists in human capital has increased (2021: 4.4%; 2022: 4.8%) and stands above the European average. The percentage of female ICT specialists remains the same (17%) and falls short of the European average. Slovenia also lags behind the European average in the percentages of people with at least basic digital skills and more than basic digital skills (SL: 50% and 20%; EU: 54% and 26%). The measurement methodology has changed slightly this year, moving closer to the Digital Competence Framework for Citizens. The coronavirus pandemic has raised awareness of the need for everyone to acquire digital skills, which can be an excellent springboard for future action and progress in this area as well.

In connectivity, Slovenia ranks 10th among EU Member States. We perform well in terms of household coverage with fixed very high-capacity networks (VHCN) (SL: 72%; EU: 70%), while Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) penetration in particular is much higher than the European average (SL: 72%; EU: 50%). According to the report, Slovenia is lagging behind in the roll-out of 5G technology, which is also linked to the auctioning of frequency bands in April 2021.

In integration of digital technology, Slovenia ranks an excellent 9th among EU Member States. The analysis of the statistics reveals that the effect of measures from recent years is clearly visible in Slovenia. Slovenia is doing better than the EU average in the integration of digital technology in terms of the percentage of companies that use e-invoices (SL: 58%; EU: 32%), cloud services (SL: 38%; EU: 34%) and artificial intelligence (SL: 12%; EU: 8%). We are less successful in the use of big data. We are on a par with the EU average in terms of the share of SMEs with at least a basic level of digital intensity (SL: 55%; EU: 55%).

In digital public services, Slovenia has moved up two places and now ranks 13th. As many as 77% of internet users in Slovenia actively use eGovernment services, compared to an EU average of 65%. We remain below the EU average in the uptake of digital public services available for individuals, while we are above average in the uptake of services for businesses. We have also risen well above the European average for open data (SL: 92%; EU: 81%).

Minister Emilija Stojmenova Duh added, "Similar to the Development Report 2022 (gov.si) of the Institute of Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD), the DESI index has again reminded us of Slovenia’s biggest challenge in the area of digital transformation. It is about human capital or digital skills, and this area is one of the key priorities that I have set myself during this term of office. I am confident that with the amendment to the Digital Inclusion Act (ZSDV) and all the other projects that my team and I are planning at the Government Office for Digital Transformation, we will be able to quickly improve the result in this area."

The European Commission has been monitoring Member States’ annual digital progress since 2014 and, based on the parameters, produces the annual DESI report. The DESI report includes a European-level analysis of five areas of the digital economy and society up to 2020: connectivity, human capital, use of internet services, integration of digital technology and digital public services. In 2021, the European Commission adapted and aligned the DESI report with the four main points of the Commission’s proposal for a Decision establishing the 2030 Policy Programme "Path to the Digital Decade", on which the European Parliament and the Council have recently reached a provisional agreement.